Pater Van Breda’s dream of a research-center at the Institute of Philosophy at KU Leuven.

Pater Van Breda in the Husserl-Archives Leuven
Pater Van Breda in the Husserl-Archives Leuven

From beginning on Van Breda concentrated on promoting the Husserl-Archives in Leuven as an institution active on the international stage. Van Breda did not want to restrict the Husserl-Archives to the exclusive study of Husserl’s theories. Rather, he envisaged it as a research center in which phenomenology’s various branches could find a home. He related his plans to Malvine Husserl in April 1947, writing:

“Perhaps one day, Leuven will become a center for all the major phenomenologists from around the world, where they will come, stimulated by Husserl’s thought, in order to continue their work in his spirit. You may say that this is a mere pipe dream, but perhaps such dreams are needed to keep people from giving up. After all, much of what has already been accomplished could only be considered a dream just a few years ago.”

(„Vielleicht wird Löwen eines Tages das Zentrum <sein>, wo alle bedeutenden Phänomenologen der Welt sich treffen, um, vom Geiste Husserls angeregt, in seinem Geiste weiter fortwirken zu können. Sie werden sagen, das ist bloß Zukunftsmusik, aber vielleicht braucht man auch Zukunftsmusik, um auf dem Weg nicht zu erlahmen. Immerhin ist schon manches verwirklicht worden, was noch vor einigen Jahren auch bloß als Zukunftsmusik angesehen werden konnte.“)

 

van Breda Letter to Malvine Husserl, Malvine Husserl, April 1947
Pater Hermann Leo van Breda, Letter to Malvine Husserl, April 24th 1947

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